Blogs list

Lisa Robertson - The Hillbrooke Group - Lisa Robertson

Planning for Success - Sponsored Article Last month, Canadians were glued to their televisions, smart phones and tablets watching our Olympic athletes compete at the Rio Games. We all know that it took years of dedicated hard work to get to this high level of performance and to achieve their dreams. But behind their commitment was something more fundamental -- a comprehensive plan designed to maximize their time and effort, and sharpen their focus as they reached for the podium. Elite athletes are not the only ones who understand the importance and benefit of planning. Successful organizations, whether they are public, private or not-for-profit, recognize the value of having a strategic communications plan to help them meet their business goals. A communications plan helps organizations align and support operational goals. It determines how and when communications take place. It establishes priorities, tone, messaging, activities and the brand. It guides the organization’s outreach to key stakeholders. And it provides an evaluation framework to gauge success and identify areas for improvement. Operating without a communications plan is a risky practice for any organization because when objectives are vague, team members can easily lose their focus and activities take place without context. The urgency to post new content to Facebook or develop a news release can mean that high-level communications objectives are overlooked. At the end of the year, you may have an up-to-date website and active social media channels, but you may have made little progress in meeting your strategic business or program goals. When developing a communications plan for your…

Photo : Lisa Robertson September 19, 2016

Libby Robinson - Titus - Libby Robinson

What is Your Data Exposure Risk? - Sponsored Article What would happen within your organization if it was faced with the unenviable process of e-discovery? Calm, quick assembly of relevant information, or pure chaos?  My guess is that it would lean heavily towards the latter; in fact, many companies are opting to settle out of court rather than deal with the resourcing and financial hardships which come from the process of e-discovery.  Why? Because companies are sitting on huge piles of data; sure, much of it is relevant business information, but I’d wager that a large percentage is ROT (redundant, outdated, and trivial). This type of data comes from the many versions of files created but never deleted, documents from employees who have long since left the company and are no longer useful, and the myriad of files which were once useful but have long since passed their shelf life.  E-discovery may be one of the larger liabilities associated to your data, but there are certainly other immediate realities to consider as well. First, while storage may be cheaper by the GB than it was in days gone by, we need masses more of it than we ever did, increasing capital and operational costs to IT. Additionally, if you have a mountain of data, it is easy for the sensitive information to get buried, increasing the potential exposure risk should your data be breached.  So how much are we really talking about? Well, Gartner estimates that about 70% of your unstructured data is ROT. This really creates two buckets of problems –…

Photo : Libby Robinson September 02, 2016

Anne McNulty - BrazeauSeller.LLP - Anne McNulty

The Right Way to Start a Business - Sponsored Article When you are in the early stages of a new business venture – creating a website, lining up important customers and suppliers, making a marketing plan – it can be hard to devote resources to items that seem less pressing or exciting, like having a shareholders’ agreement drafted.  Choosing where to spend money when starting a business is challenging, but taking steps to define and protect the legal rights of the parties involved, at the outset, is worth the cost and effort. Let’s look at an example.  Wipebook, a company that produces erasable notebooks, successfully raised $420,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in 2013, which led to a spot on Dragons’ Den in 2015.  For those who are unfamiliar with Dragons’ Den, it’s a television show that allows entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses to venture capitalists, who are then invited to invest.  It provides invaluable opportunities to entrepreneurs, not only to raise capital, but also to gain notoriety from the show’s broadcast.  The founders of Wipebook made an impressive presentation, and were offered $300,000 by one of the venture capitalists (Arlene Dickinson) in exchange for a 25% stake in their business. Unfortunately, when the show aired the founders were in the midst of a legal dispute.  They hadn’t signed a shareholders’ agreement, and as one of the founders told the CBC: [w]e didn't really have a clear understanding of what were the expectations between the co-founders, what everybody was going to get if we were going to pursue as a team, what was going…

Photo : Anne  McNulty September 02, 2016

Matthew Jeffery - Nova Solutions Corporation - Matthew Jeffery

New ETA requirement to impose stricter travel rules on Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign nationals - Sponsored Article On September 30, 2016, the new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will become mandatory. The eTA has been set up by the government to act as a security screen for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries. Foreigners from many countries do not need to obtain a visa to enter Canada and can travel to Canada using their passport only. Previously these foreigners were not subject to any screening until they arrived at the airport in Canada. These foreigners will now have to obtain an eTA in their passport before they can get on a plane and travel to Canada. The eTA costs $7 to apply for, is valid for up to five years, and can be completed in minutes provided that there are no concerns the applicant may be inadmissible to Canada. Grounds for inadmissibility may include prior criminal convictions, a serious medical condition, past immigration refusals, or other potential security concerns. There are concerns that the implementation of the eTA will catch many foreign nationals by surprise and result in the disruption of many travellers’ plans to visit Canada. Only when they reach the airport will people who formerly could travel with their passport only suddenly be informed that they need an eTA to be able to board the airplane. Foreign travellers are not the only ones likely to be caught out by the implementation of the eTA. One of the effects of the eTA is that Canadian citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country will need to have a Canadian passport in…

Photo : Matthew  Jeffery September 02, 2016

Lara Bender - Titus - Lara Bender

Does My Organization Really Need a Separate Data Classification Solution? - Sponsored Article Last month, I attended the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, where data classification was covered in many of the Gartner and vendor-led presentations. A key change over the last few years is that classification is now being discussed as part of an overall data security strategy, rather than as a separate project suitable for only certain use cases or industries. As data classification has become more mainstream, we’ve seen an increasing number of security and cloud vendors adding classification to their product portfolios. This is good news for those of us who believe in the importance of data classification as a foundation for data security.  So if classification is built into so many solutions, why do organizations continue to look at separate data classification solutions for their organization? Here’s why: Industry focus: Organizations are looking for solutions and services that meet the more tailored requirements of their industry. This covers everything from truly understanding the organization’s business challenges to being able to customize the solution to the organization’s use cases and environment. Customer experience: Data classification is a highly visible and impactful technology that requires careful planning for success. Many organizations want focused expertise from an organization that can offer such things as classification schema and policy development assistance, a detailed deployment methodology, and classification-focused support resources. This kind of assistance is more difficult to obtain when classification is just a small feature in a larger solution bundle. Breadth of coverage: Organizations need to identify and protect data wherever it resides –…

Photo : Lara Bender August 05, 2016